Rep. Claman’s September 5th Newsletter: Fourth Special Session, Labor Day & Back to School

For many, Labor Day represents the end of the summer and the return to school. We can also remember the origins of the holiday, the history of the labor movement, and the strength and diversity of our nation’s workers.

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NEWS: Legislation to Improve Foster Care System and Implement Caseload Standards Passes the Alaska House of Representatives

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for case workers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts national best practice standards.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Unacceptable: Legislator Wrong To Play Abortion Politics

We should be working hard on the budget, not playing games with voter emotions over abortion. While many of us are trying to work to find consensus on solving a nearly $3 billion budget gap, one of our colleagues unthoughtfully started an ugly battle on a woman’s right to choose this week. Here’s what I said when asked about it during a press conference yesterday. I used softer words than I wanted to.

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NEWS: Alaska’s National Award Recipients Push Major Success Initiative for Neglected and Abused Children

Juneau – Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Amanda Metivier, the co-founder of Alaska’s main foster youth advocacy and peer support non-profit, have a new thing in common besides being former foster youth. As of January, they have now each been recognized with awards for their work advocating for foster youth by Casey Family Programs, the nation’s leading foster youth advocacy foundation.

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Rep. Claman’s Newsletter: Public Safety Concerns

With some of the recent reports of crime in Anchorage, the community is concerned about public safety in our neighborhoods. In this newsletter, we have compiled a number​ of useful resources to keep you informed of public safety incidents, aware of ways to report crime, and involved in achieving better safety outcomes in your area.

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OP-ED: Why we should be investing in early childhood education during a budget crisis

Everyone is talking about numbers this session. Alaska’s budget deficit is nearly $3.5 billion. The Republican-led majority threatens to cut an additional $1 billion from state government spending.  Over $3 million is slated to be cut from early childhood education, which would decimate effective programs like Parents as Teachers, the Imagination Library, and pre-k in Alaska.

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NEWS: Presentation on Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Tonight

Juneau – Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) is joining several organizations focused on the health and well-being of children in sponsoring a presentation this evening in Juneau about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. The guest presenter will be Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. The study was a collaborative research program between the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program and the Centers for Disease Control.

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NEWS: Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law Signed by Governor Walker

ANCHORAGE – Thursday, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act into law during a ceremony in Anchorage. The Alaska Safe Children’s Act includes Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law. Erin’s Law requires school districts to teach personal body safety information to elementary and secondary school students. Erin’s Law also requires school staff be trained on how to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse. Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) sponsored Erin’s Law legislation in the last two legislative sessions and was on hand for Thursday night’s bill signing ceremony.

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